The shortlist was announced on 16 November, 2020.

Shortlist for the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2020 announced – books

The shortlist for the third edition of the New India Foundation Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Award was announced today. The award recognizes excellence in non-fiction writing on modern / contemporary India published in the previous calendar year by writers of all nationalities. Established in 2018, the award includes a cash prize of INR 15 lacs and a mention. This year’s short list of six books covers a century of modern Indian history and spans various genres including biography, investigative reporting, environmental stories, anthropology and history. The jury was composed of the political scientist Niraja Gopal Jayal (chair), the historians Ramachandra Guha, Srinath Raghavan and Nayanjot Lahiri, the businessman Nandan Nilekani; and President of Teamlease Services, Manish Sabharwal.

The six shortlisted books for the 2020 Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Award are:

Mobilizing the marginalized: ethnic parties without ethnic movements by Amit Ahuja (Oxford University Press)

Midnight’s Machines: A Political History of Technology in India by Arun Mohan Sukumar (Penguin Random House)

The Unquiet River: A Biography of the Brahmaputra by Arupjyoti Saikia (Oxford University Press)

Checkered Brilliance: The Many Lives of VK Krishna Menon by Jairam Ramesh (Penguin Random House)

Bottle of Lies: Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma by Katherine Eban (Juggernaut)

Wild Himalayas: a natural history of the largest mountain range on Earth by Stephen Alter (Aleph)

Previous award winners include Milan Vaishnav for When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics (HarperCollins Publishers) in 2018; and Ornit Shani for How India became democratic (Penguin Random House) in 2019.

The final winner will be announced in early December 2020.


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